My Heart Healthy Log

My Heart Healthy Log
Beginning now, during American Heart Month, I will make a special effort to follow my doctor’s
prescribed recommendations for diet and exercise.
This month, I am eating more of these healthy foods:
This month, I am avoiding these unhealthy foods:
This month, I am incorporating the following exercises into my weekly routine:
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Let’s make sure heart disease
doesn’t break any more hearts.
More females die from heart disease
than from all cancers combined, but
many women age 65 and older don’t know
they are at an increased risk for cardiac
problems. However, by taking proacve
steps, senior women can dramacally
reduce their likelihood.
Coronary artery disease, which causes
heart aacks, is the most common of
these problems, but heart failure and
cardiac issues resulng from viruses
can also occur.
Women face rising cardiac risk with
the onset of menopause and the
decline in their levels of estrogen,
a hormone experts believe may be
beneficial to arteries.
This informaon comes from Dr. Kevin O’Neil, M.D.,
F.A.C.P., Chief Medical Officer, Brookdale
The majority of women in their 70s and
80s have high blood pressure, but many
may not know it. If your blood pressure
has always been normal, make sure to
have it checked annually. If you have a
history of high blood pressure, it should
be checked every three to four months.
A study recently published in the Journal
of the American College of Cardiology
showed that if women paid aenon to
six lifestyle factors, they could cut their
risk of cardiac disease by 90 percent. These
factors include the following:
Stopping smoking
Exercising moderately 30 minutes a day
On average, cardiac disease begins 10
years later for women than men, with a
woman’s first heart aack occurring at
the age of 70. Three-fourths of older
women do not recover well enough
from heart aacks to resume their
normal lives a‡erwards.
Even if you have never exercised, it is
not too late to start. You can begin slowly;
for example, rather than walking for an
enre half hour, do three ten-minute
walks and slowly build up to 30 minutes
uninterrupted. In addion to aerobic
exercise, incorporate balance and weight
training into your roune. Brookdale Senior
Living communies offer a variety of
exercise classes.
Eang a diet low in saturated fats
If you drink, drink in moderaon (less
than a drink a day on average).
• Maintaining proper weight, with
a body mass index under 25
• Watching seven hours or fewer of TV
weekly (to avoid being sedentary)
Seniors who are unable to walk can sll
parcipate in exercise program, such as
upper arm aerobics and pool exercise.
Family caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s
or other demenas should take steps to
protect their loved ones’ heart health,
because memory issues can make it
hard for them to manage on their own.
If you are caring for someone who is on
heart or blood pressure medicaons,
make sure he or she is taking the right
dosage on the prescribed schedule.
Help your loved one exercise by taking
walks together. Make sure your loved
one is eang a heart-healthy diet.
Check with a physician before beginning
an exercise roune.
Dr. O’Neil has practiced and taught geriatric medicine for more than 27 years. In addition to serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Brookdale Senior Living, he teaches as a clinical professor at the
University of South Florida. From his expertise and experience in this specialized field, he shares surprising facts that go to the heart of this increasing health threat to women.